The protocol followed in our practice includes a build-up phase and a maintenance phase.
Allergy shots improve symptoms via the subcutaneous route triggers a protective or “non-allergic” immune response to the treating allergens. This allows one to develop “tolerance” or an “immunity” to the allergen.
The only medical risk associated with allergy shots is an allergic reaction. The most common reaction is localized redness, pain and itchiness at the site of the injection. Systemic allergic reactions can also occur, but they are very rare. It is generally believed to occur in 1 per 100,000 injections. In addition, the majority of allergic reactions occur in the first 20 minutes, which is why we have patients wait for 20 minutes. As an extra safety precaution, we insist that all patients who receive allergy shots in our office carry Benadryl and an Epipen for at least two hours after receiving their injections.
85 – 90% of patients improve with allergy shots. Different patients respond to different doses. The textbook answer is it takes 6 – 9 months to achieve a clinical improvement. Some patients notice an improvement within a few weeks of starting allergy shots. Other patients might not notice a significant improvement until maintenance doses are achieved. Some patients need to have their maintenance doses increased above the typical dose to achieve the desired benefit.
No. There are certain patients that cannot receive allergy shots: